Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Listen to NEGRO CARBON by Manuel Donayre.

Afroperuano music is a relatively obscure strain of American music. It's special music, born of the unique culture developed by black slaves sandwiched between the Pacific and the Andes. It's called musica criolla, a term that additionally references the Andalucian and Roma influences on the music (such influences being even more apparent in dance).

While to my non-specialist ears it sounds much like, say, afro-cuban music, you can theoretically listen for local instruments like charangos and especially the cajons (basically wooden boxes used in percussion. Traditional percussion instruments like drums with skins or marimbas were once banned by colonial authorities. The cajon is the result of creative musicians' ad hoc responses to this ban).

The Rough Guide to Afro-Peru is a great contribution to an excellent series, and it is where we find Negro Carbon by Manuel Donayre. While Negro Carbon isn't rock n roll, it's sweet and smooth like a Soul Stirrers recording. You can see Mr. Donayre doing his thing on a choice few youtube clips.

Photo: Lincoln and Reagan.


1 comment:

Mom's daughter said...

Lincoln, Reagan and Mom - RIP.